Throughout the State of Florida, numerous school boards have been attempting to standardize the clothing that students wear. The school superintendents who are in favor of uniforms will argue that the children who wear them will experience many benefits. I disagree with this position. I feel that the use of uniforms will strip identity, stifle creativity, and unnecessarily burden the families that cannot afford them.
The use of uniforms has already been implemented in several long-standing social environments. The penal system uses uniforms to brand those persons who are incarcerated. Likewise, the military also uses them to separate and remove the individualism inside of the soldier. In both cases, individual identity is stripped away and the subject is forced to conform to the same outward appearance as every other subject.
Another problem that will surface due to the implementation of school uniforms is the suppression of the individual’s creativity and expression. Many students’ express who they are through the way they dress. If a teenager wants to show the rest of the world that he loves Jesus, then he or she might wear a T-shirt that states a positive view on the subject. Similarly, a student might want to wear green colored clothing to show his or her support for St. Patrick’s day. School uniforms would end both of those examples listed within this paragraph and many, many more.
The last issue that needs to be addressed is the unnecessary burden that will be placed upon those families of limited resources. Many low-income families do not have the money available to furnish uniforms to their children. They can barely make ends meet with the help of charities and social programs. In Polk County, Florida, the school board is trying to pass legislation that a child cannot attend school unless they have on the proper uniform. An education is supposed to be available to all children, not just the ones whose parents can afford to buy the government ordered attire.
I have listed several reasons why the use of school uniforms should not be implemented in America’s public education system. Not only will it melt the individual into the mass, but it will also hinder those that are destitute. If the school boards desire to make the use of uniforms mandatory, then they need to issue all of the required equipment, just like the military and the prison systems do.